The Tasmanian Greens today announced a $5.4 million initiative over four years to provide incentives for employers to offer work to asylum seekers and recent humanitarian entrants, and to help our community members to support them.

Greens Leader Nick McKim MP outlined the Greens’ plan to develop a $2.5 million Employers Incentive program to provide work-experience, training and employment opportunities to asylum seekers and humanitarian entrants, and $2.9m over four years to build capacity to support them in our community.

“Refugees have brought massive benefits to this country, and to Tasmania, and we have nothing to fear and everything to gain by welcoming them into our community,” Mr McKim said.

“The Greens will invest in joint employer work-place incentive programs to assist in providing work experience and employment opportunities, training and skill development.

“Our policy will create jobs, build social capital and lessen the human cost of mental illness and alienation we know are associated with mandatory detention.”

“There should be a 30 day detention time limit for security and health checks, and if these are passed asylum seekers should be released into the community while their application is assessed and finalised.”

“This is the opportunity for Tasmania to tap into the skills and expertise of these usually highly motivated people, many of whom come from an educated and professional background.”

“They want to work, and they want to contribute to their new community.”

“We also know that welcoming these people in need also has huge economic and social benefits for Tasmania.”

“We have seen that when we welcomed European refugees after the Second World War, and more recently the Hmong people, the African community, and the Kosovars.”

“Manus Island is a hell hole where human rights are regularly abused. We believe it must, and will be, shut down soon.”

“Tasmania will then be well positioned welcome to asylum seekers, by reopening Pontville to serve as a swift processing facility, and launch-pad for refugees to be released into the community, into our schools and into our workforce.”

“The Greens would prioritise negotiating with the Commonwealth to reopen the Pontville facility, which would see almost 250 local jobs created and boost the close to 50 local businesses which provided services to it previously.”

We also need the conditions for asylum seekers on bridging visas changed so that they are permitted to work.”

Download the Greens’ Tasmania: Caring for Asylum Seekers and Humanitarian Entrants policy initiative here:

Greens Leader Nick McKim